Vonja and Dovison named in Joeys squad ahead of Asian Cup

Michael Vonja Campbell Dovison Western United

Western United Academy starlets Michael Vonja and Campbell Dovison have been selected in the Joeys’ pre-tournament camp ahead of the upcoming AFC U17 Asian Cup in Thailand.

The pair will form part of an initial 28-man squad and will be eager to impress the coaching staff and earn a place in the final roster of 23 players for the tournament.

The pre-tournament camp will commence at the end of May and run all the way until the tournament commences, giving Vonja and Dovison the opportunity to stake their respective claims for selection.

Western United Academy Director Anthony Frost said the work rate and development that Vonja and Dovison have shown will continue to inspire the rest of the Academy cohort.

“Both Michael and Campbell have shown, in their short time at the Club, a high level of application and dedication to their development as well as an alignment to our Club values,” he said.

“This sets a tremendous example to other aspiring players in our environment that helps raise the bar for everyone. It gives us great pride to see them get exposure in the National Teams environment, and we wish them the best for their opportunity.”

Vonja has been a regular for the Joeys in previous camps, most recently travelling with the side to Turkey for the U17 Antalya Cup in February, starting in a narrow defeat to Uzbekistan.

Since joining the Western United Academy from Melbourne City ahead of the 2023 season, the 17-year-old has been in fine form between the sticks.

Having played for both the Under 18’s and the Under 21’s during the campaign, Vonja was named in the Under 23’s squad for the first time against Brunswick City at the end of April.

Vonja then went one better two weeks later and made his Under 23’s debut against Northcote City, putting in a brilliant display despite United losing the match 1-0.

That performance ensured Vonja kept his place in the side for the last match as Western United defeated Bulleen Lions, with the 17-year-old continuing to exude confidence between the sticks.

Dovison has progressed rapidly through the ranks at Western United, starring in Vaughan Coveny’s Under 21’s in his first season at the Club.

Originally from Melbourne, Dovison joined United from Central Coast Mariners after the beginning of the NPL 2 Victoria season having also previously played for Melbourne City.

A brilliant record of nine goals through his first eight appearances earned Dovison an Under 23’s debut of his own against Bulleen Lions on Sunday, with the 17-year-old coming off the bench to replace goal scorer and Isuzu UTE A-League Men scholarship player Jake Najdovski.

The attacker looked lively in his 20-minute cameo, giving Western United fans a glimpse of his potential going forward.

Everyone at Western United is looking forward to watching both players’ continued development and wishes Michael and Campbell the very best in the upcoming camp.